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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
zimzat
zimzat
Decisioning: To buy...
I have a decision to make. A co-worker and his wife bought a new car for her to drive so they're selling her old one. It's a 2000 Ford Escort SE. It has 135K miles but they just put in an engine with 25K miles on it. It is an automatic transmission, power windows, locks, and mirrors, and as an added bonus a working radio and 12 disc cd changer. It has some minor cosmetic defects and the only known mechanical defect is a 1 to 2 drop a day leak of the coolant. He's asking 2,500$ for it.

Compare that to my car which is a 1992 Toyota Camry. It has 237K miles on it with moderate cosmetic defects. It is an automatic transmission, power windows, locks, and mirrors, but without a working radio or cassette player. The mechanical troubles start with leaking brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant (I already paid several hundred dollars to fix the leaking oil, meh). The gas mileage seems to have dropped dramatically recently and there is a constant smell of gas. The brakes/wheels seem to slip when I have to stop quickly. I have to top off or refill various fluids at least once every week or two. The further I go than just to work (~6 miles) the more likely it is to overheat (yes, the fan turns on). The rear passenger side handle is partially shattered on the outside.

The only advantages the Camry has over the Escort is ... is... it's already paid for? It's bigger?

I'm not willing to pay 10,000$ for a car and this seems like a good alternative to getting more dependable transportation.

Current Mood: wary
Current Music: "Part of Me (Emjae Remix)" by Serge Devant featuring Kyven

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
divaprime From: divaprime Date: February 25th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
$2500 for a 9 yr old car that's already needed a new engine at 135k sounds a bit high. Offer $1800, buy at $2100.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 25th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
He just put the engine in and paid 2,500$ for it so he's not willing to go down any lower than that. He mentioned something about a one year warranty on the replacement engine. =\
myownmemento From: myownmemento Date: February 25th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't sound like the best deal, but it's far from the worst.

See if you can possibly sell your car to a dealership. I sold my 1992 Dodge Dakota with 150k miles for $600. The people buying it knew it needed a knew tire axle replacement (which would have cost me $500), so they dropped the price.

If you can sell your good car a little bit, that will help get the new one. If they just replaced the engine, it may not be bad. See if you can take it on a minor test drive and get a mechanic to look at it.
raist_ From: raist_ Date: February 25th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

On Brakes slipping...

Chances are that pulsing sensation you get is that the brake pads are badly in need of changing, possibly to the point that you may have killed the drums/rotors that actuate them.

Oh, and a smell of gas+Drop in gas mileage is a seriously Bad (tm) thing. You may have a leak in your gas line/tank. Good thing you don't smoke...
zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 25th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brakes slipping...

There's no pulsing sensation. It just starts squeals and the car starts sliding. The brakes were replaced, umm, around 6 to 12 months ago (vaguely). I then had it looked at by a brake professional and the people who replaced the line had broken one of the front brake bleeding tips so I'll have to get the entire assembly replaced next time the brakes are changed. They also fixed the back brakes to actually work again after the other guys had replaced them (they had put the wrong brakes on).

Recently the car has stopped audibly (visually under the hood) boiling after a simple 6 mile trip. The mileage has also gone back up and the smell of gas isn't there as much (although faintly, maybe after smell). The coolant still needs refilled/topped, as well as the brake fluid. The transmission fluid stays the same most of the time (then a major drop at random times), and the steering actually squeaks trying to turn when first turning on the car.

For a long time I've also had this really odd occurrence where huge puffs of white smoke come out of the tail pipe at low speeds and the engine(?) clatters. I can't correlate any good/bad behavior to anything else, but this seems to only happen when the brake fluid is low.

*shrug* I give up on this one.
raist_ From: raist_ Date: February 25th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

In a nutshell....

You're fucked.

:)

PS: My housemate just read that above comment over my shoulder and said the same thing. He could give you the specifics but it'd still come down to the same thing.
6 comments or Leave a comment